Squats are one of the best exercises you can do to keep you self-sufficient as you age.
I asked Suzanne Andrews, star of Functional Fitness on Public Television, to share an exercise she thinks every woman in menopause should be doing. Her immediate response was squats. Here is her explanation of why you should be doing squats every day and how to go about it. All you need is a chair. Talk with your doctor before adding new exercises to your routine.
Why do squats?
You need squats every time you want to get up from your desk chair, climb stairs, get in and out of cars, chase grandchildren or use a toilet. That’s right. This exercise could even save you a few hundred dollars by saving you from having to purchase an elevated toilet. How long would you like to put off needing someone to help you in the bathroom? Do squats; they only take a few minutes and the results are well worth the effort.
What muscles do squats strengthen?
Squats help several sets of muscles: Your Erector Spinae– the long muscles that run up and down both sides of your spine; your Gluteus Maximus – it’s the large muscle in your buttocks; Hamstrings – the muscle group behind your thigh. They work together with your gluteus to control your hips; and your Quadriceps – those are the large muscles that make up your thigh. They help you straighten your leg and are essential in helping you get up.
How you do Squats?
Place a chair behind you. Place your feet so they are hip width apart and slowly bend your knees as if you are going to sit down. Just lightly touch the seat of the chair with your buttocks so your knees are at a 90-degree angle and hold if for a second or two before standing up with good posture.
Your chin should be level, eyes gazing directly ahead, spine lifted and shoulders slightly back. Make sure to keep your knees from bending forward past your toes as you squat and don’t round your back.
Repeat for 1 set of 12 and work up to 3 sets of 12.
Learn more from Suzanne Andrews at www.healthwiseexercise.com and on PBS. If you don’t get Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews on your local PBS station, call them and request the show.
Bonus Tip! Is your purse heavy? Use it or a book as an extra weight when you feel yourself getting stronger and you will also work your abdominals and shoulders at the same time.